In 1993, the more than 500,000-year-old male and female skulls of “Nanjing Man” were discovered in Tangshan, China. That archaeological site has since been commemorated with the arrival of a museum devoted to such relics, and now includes the 39-room Ruralation Museum Hotel, designed by AZL Architects on an adjacent abandoned quarry.
Laid out as a series of squares and cylinders, the hot springs hotel is built with stones salvaged from the excavation, as well as an abundance of local white cement, to seamlessly merge with the landscape. Throughout the property, there are moments that emphasize the design’s impression of purity, such as the rotunda, meditation space, and the outdoor staircase leading from the open lobby up to a roof garden and pool.
According to AZL Architects founder Zhang Lei, physical places like the quarry can “be repaired by the power of time,” and as with the Ruralation Museum Hotel, “the unity of form and content reappear through the unique, primitive, and simple architectural language.”
The Ruralation Museum Hotel was a winner in the Luxury Hotel project category at the 2021 HD Awards.